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‘Writing fiction is a creative act, a work of the imagination, but it is also a craft.  As in any craft, there is always more to be learned. For anyone
who wants to succeed as a writer, dedication and
practice are more important than talent. And the
only way to improve as a writer is to recognize
your weaknesses and work on them -- and
of course write, write, write.’
Ruth Nestvold

Since about the age of six, Ruth Nestvold wanted to be a writer (besides wanting to
be a singer and an actress and President of the United States)
, but for too many years
she put practical pursuits first and writing fiction second. After completing a Ph.D. in
literature and working as lecturer and assistant professor at the University of Stuttgart and the University of Freiburg, she took time off from academic pursuits to attend the Clarion West Writers Workshop, a six week "boot camp" for writers of science fiction and fantasy. She learned more there than she could have dreamed possible, changed her priorities, and gave up theory for imagination. Two years later, she sold her first short story to the acclaimed science fiction magazine, Asimov's. Since then, she has sold over forty pieces of short fiction to a variety of markets, including Baen's Universe, Strange Horizons, Scifiction, F&SF, Realms of Fantasy, and several “year's best” anthologies. She has been nominated for the Nebula, the Sturgeon, and the Tiptree awards. In 2007, the Italian translation of her novella Looking Through Lace won the "Premio Italia" for best international work. Her novel Flamme und Harfe (“Flame and Harp”) appeared in translation from Penhaligon, a German imprint of Random House in 2009, and has been translated into Dutch and Italian as well. She taught creative writing for a semester at the University of Stuttgart, participates regularly in online writing workshops, and founded the Villa Diodati workshop for English-speaking writers of speculative fiction in Europe. She occasionally maintains a website at www.ruthnestvold.com


'English is a party of words and everyone is invited.'

After doing an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, Lisa subsequently taught creative writing for thirteen years at both the Norwich School of Art & Design and the UEA. She now lives in the Algarve in Portugal where she teaches ...

Lisa Selvidge
... online courses for several universities in the UK, as well as conducts workshops. She is the author of the Writing Fiction Workbook and has edited an anthology of writings entitled Summer Times in the Algarve. Her own fiction includes The Trials of Tricia Blake and The Last Dance over the Berlin Wall, and her most recent book is Beyond the Sea - Stories from the Algarve. Her website is lisaselvidge.net

Lisa attended the awards ceremony for the Daniil Pashkoff Prize in June 2010. She was impressed by the excellent quality of the prize-winning poems and short stories written by non-native speakers in our anthology. We are glad to announce that she has kindly agreed to be a member of one of our juries in 2012. She gave an interview on the merits of teaching Creative Writing of which we include a brief excerpt:

'Languages enrich one another and English, because of its flexibility, is very accommodating.'

Why do you think that English is so flexible?

‘I think English is quite special for writers as it has two main roots – Latin of course (and Greek) and Anglo-Saxon. It is a wonderful mixture of being luxurious and ornate – thanks to its Latin roots but the Anglo Saxon ensures a down-to-earth bluntness as well. So, for a writer, there is a great choice. Writers such as Joyce, Henry Miller, Burgess and Faulkner write with verbal splendour. Raymond Carver and Hemingway opt for more sparsity‘

Two days after the Awards Ceremony Lisa Selvidge read from her novel The Last Dance over the Berlin Wall. The audience was mesmerized by the suspenseful story and many also enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of a light lunch with her in the atrium of the ‘Industrie- und Handelskammer Braunschweig.’
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